Quality indie pop-rock/post-grunge from the ‘Gong
Wollongong (Illawarra, N.S.W.) based outfit Yardvark have been doing the rounds for a few years now, all on the back of their independently released, six track self-titled E.P. (which was released in late 2009). While the band are still a largely undiscovered outfit, they have supported the likes of You Am I, Philadelphia Grand Jury, and British India, and their single Show What You Got from their E.P. has earned the band a bit of coverage in the underground music scene.
After a long two year gap between releases, the five piece outfit (comprising vocalist Stacie Hamilton, vocalist/guitarist Joshua McLean, guitarist Glen Hitchon, bassist Nathan Stratton and drummer Ben Parsons) have finally managed to put together a full-length effort in the form of Flannelette Heart.
Given the band’s rather strange name and the equally strange title given to their latest studio effort, I can’t say that I had any expectations from this release but, to my surprise, Flannelette Heart turned out to be quite a cool little release, and the absurdity of the band’s moniker was duly forgiven.
In terms of style, Yardvark is a bit all over the place - but in a good way. I guess the best way to describe Yardvark’s sound is to imagine a marriage of indie pop/rock with post-grunge. The opening track, Beam of Hope, kind of gives you an idea of what to expect sound-wise, with the dual harmonies providing a large part of the indie pop/rock elements, while the music itself (particularly the guitar riffs and the upfront drum mix) is rooted well within the post-grunge rock realm.
Hive Party opens with a great little riff that I have no doubt would sound a whole lot more rocking than it does cranked up on my stereo, while the bass led shoe-gazing tempo of Falling Camera brings takes me back the late ‘90’s alternative scene like a flash - but again, in a good way.
Elsewhere, Loud Loud reveals influences from The Cure/Smashing Pumpkins with its opening riff (which isn’t a bad thing at all), while Hamilton smoulders on the bluesy rocker Satan is Calling (an obvious highlight if there was one).
The laid back rocker, Lizzy, is another stand out number that boasts a killer chorus (provided by Hamilton), while the album closer Pocket Rocket sees the band saving their best til last with its driving groove, dual vocals and rocking spirit.
Overlooking the terrible names that adorn the band and the album, this is one cool little rocking effort from the Wollongong quintet. Here’s hoping it earns the band a little more coverage, a bit more success and a few more devoted followers at the front of the stage with every new gig.